All Board members who are engaging in travel covered by this procedure are required to complete a Travel Authorization Form, which must be approved in advance of the travel, regardless of whether such Trustee incurred any travel expenses or is seeking any reimbursement payments.
It is the policy of the college to reimburse Trustees for ordinary, necessary, and reasonable expenses incurred during the conduct of College business. The reimbursements will be made in accordance with this bylaw, and also in compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and any applicable Internal Revenue Service rules and regulations, the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act (50 Illinois Compiled Statutes Chapter 150/1), and other relevant publications. In order to receive reimbursement:
- The President’s Office will initiate a Travel and Expense Reimbursement Authorization Form (Travel Authorization Form) on behalf of the Trustee prior to making travel arrangements.
- Trustees must submit actual expenses to the President’s Office within sixty (60) days after the travel has been completed. The President’s Office will then complete the same Travel Authorization Form on behalf of the Trustee and submit the form to the Business Office.
- Receipts and appropriate documentation must accompany the Travel Authorization Form. In the rare situations that a receipt is not available, the Trustee should submit a signed written statement outlining the actual expenses.
- Substantiation must include information relating to amount, time, place, and business purpose of expenditure.
Trustees submitting expenses that are not in compliance with this bylaw risk delayed, partial, or forfeited reimbursement. Trustees should make every effort to keep travel and related costs to a minimum. Trustees are responsible for knowing the contents of this bylaw and must comply with its terms if they intend to travel.
The President’s Office is responsible for assuring on behalf of the Board:
- Budgeted funds are available to meet all travel or business-related commitments
- Proper authorization for travel is obtained before any commitments are made
- The potential benefits of the trip justify its time and expense after considering more cost effective alternatives
- All expenditures are reasonable and follow appropriate College bylaws, policies, and procedures as well as any additional restrictions required by any grant or contract authorities, if applicable.
Any Trustee who is traveling on College business must have an approved Travel Authorization Form in place prior to making travel arrangements, including:
- Dates and times of travel
- Location and business purpose of travel
- Estimated cost of transportation, meals, lodging, registration fees, and other expenses
- Conference schedule, agenda or similar documentation, if applicable
- Signature of the President
- The Travel Authorization Form must provide a realistic estimate of travel costs.
- Actual expenses that vary by more than 15% of original estimate must be explained and are subject to additional examination and approval.
- A roll call vote of the Board will be required for all Trustee travel expenses to be approved, pursuant to the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act (Public Act 99-0604).
- Expenses that are not reasonable, lack proper approvals or otherwise do not adhere to this bylaw, or Internal Revenue Service guidelines may be denied or determined not reimbursable.
Travel and Expense Guidelines
Transportation - For eligible travel, trustees will be reimbursed for airfare, train tickets, taxi fare, car rental, parking expenses, tolls, and personal use of their vehicle depending on the mode of travel that is used. Business mileage will be paid at the Internal Revenue Service reimbursement rate that is in effect at the time of travel.
- The Internal Revenue Service mileage reimbursement is calculated to cover all vehicle expenses including gas, insurance, repairs and maintenance, and depreciation.
- Every day commuting between home and board meetings or College- hosted events is not classified as travel and is not eligible for reimbursement per Internal Revenue Service guidelines.
- Transportation costs will not be reimbursed for amounts exceeding a more cost effective mode of transportation (such as mileage versus air or train travel), unless the most cost effective mode of transportation presents an undue hardship.
Meals - will only be reimbursed when Trustees are traveling away from home on trips that include an overnight stay.
- There will be no reimbursement for meals in transit to and from meetings and conferences within the College district.
- There will be no reimbursement for meals that are included as part of a conference or registration fee.
- If meals for individuals, other than the Trustee, are included on the reimbursement request, supporting documentation should include the affiliation, persons involved, and business discussed.
- A fully itemized, detailed receipt is required for each meal. If itemized receipts are not provided, reimbursements may be delayed or denied.
- No charges for alcoholic beverages will be reimbursed and should not appear on documentation submitted to the College.
- Gratuities should not exceed 20% of the bill. Gratuities beyond 20% will not be reimbursed.
- If the Trustee’s family members or other personal guests incur meal charges, the Trustee is responsible for paying those costs and they should not appear on College documentation. A separate bill should be requested.
- Reimbursement for meals that are deemed excessive or extravagant will be reduced without Trustee consent.
Lodging - Reasonable costs for lodging, appropriate for the geographical location, will be reimbursed when overnight stays are necessary. Hotel receipts are to be submitted.
- Overnight stays are necessary when an event is occurring over multiple days, or when same day travel is not practical due to the time of the event, i.e., a conference begins early in the morning or ends late afternoon or evening.
- Overnight stays solely for convenience of the Trustee will not be reimbursed.
Registration and Conference Fees - All registrations are to be submitted in time for any applicable early registration discounts. Registration or other related fees must be paid by the President’s Office or the Business Office.
- The Travel Authorization Form should include information regarding these fees and be submitted with adequate advanced notice.
- No reimbursement will be made for registration or other related fees that are paid in advance by the Trustee. If a situation arises where time does not allow for the College to pay the above fees in advance, the President’s Office should make appropriate arrangements.
- An effort should be made to limit the number of Trustees attending the same conference. Multiple attendees may be necessary when numerous sessions are presented at the same time. Trustees who participate in conferences are expected to share knowledge they have obtained with other interested parties.
Other Travel Expenses
The cost of business-related special expenses, if reasonable, may be reimbursed based. A fully itemized receipt is required.
The following list is not comprehensive but outlines some of the expenses that are not considered reasonable and will not be reimbursed:
- Fees for extra baggage
- Fees for overweight baggage
- Seat upgrades
- Mini bar charges
- Motor vehicle tickets and fines
- Flight changes for personal convenience
- Alcoholic beverages
- Expenses for non-College employees or students who travel on the same trip such as family members, significant others, etc.
- Personal items such as child care costs, toiletries, etc.
- Room service, generally discouraged unless extenuating circumstances
Other Travel Rules and Guidelines
- The submission of receipts to the President’s Office by the Trustee will serve as representation to the College that the expenses incurred are in accordance with this bylaw.
- No policy can anticipate every situation that might give rise to legitimate business expenses. Each Trustee must use his or her best professional judgment in determining if an expense not specifically covered in this bylaw is reimbursable.
- Expense advances will not be provided. However, hotel reservations may be made in advance using the College credit card and registration fees must be paid by the College.
- Expenses for family members and significant others should not be included in documentation or receipts for reimbursement.
- Travel Authorization Forms requesting reimbursements of $5 or less will not be reimbursed.
- The Business Office may request additional information from the President’s Office on behalf of the Trustee, as appropriate.
- Travel Authorization Forms for group trips should be submitted together.
Approval History: Replaces Travel and Expense Reimbursement BT-14P, Approved February 17, 2005 and March 26, 2018